management

3 Questions – How Good Are You at Giving Performance Feedback?

Ever notice that books about how managers can learn to give performance feedback focus on really difficult conversations first? It seems like a completely awful place to begin. Sort of like wanting to lose a few pounds and starting your training by being chased by a pack of wild dogs every morning to make sure you …

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Accountable and Accountability

Accountability and accountable are very popular words in business today. After a conversation with a colleague about his direct reports, I realized that he was using these words interchangeably and creating confusion in his team. Accountable: adjective: subject to giving an account, answerable; I held her accountable for the damage. capable of being accounted for; …

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Mars in Retrograde & Other Workplace Issues

Here’s a question: how many of us consider wildly subjective factors when making management decisions? Things like justifying an employee’s odd behavior because his kid just left for college; or choosing one intern over another because his name is only one letter off from your favorite author’s and that seems like a nice coincidence; or …

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Clarifing the Importance of Transparency at Work

Transparent Communication & Financial Health This is post is in response to Tom Szaky’s  piece in the You’re the Boss section of the New York Times. Transparency is vital for building effective communication in a company. In order for employees and managers to gain confidence in that transparency, a company also must work to sustain …

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Powerful Waves of Emotion in Vermont

Irene’s Contribution to Management Theory Last week Hurricane Irene clobbered Vermont. Though she was officially a tropical storm by the time she made her way up the coast and into western New England, Irene dumped enough wind and water on the Green Mountains to turn a dozen towns into islands, wash homes and base lodges …

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Asking Worker Bees to Wing It

In the US, we like people with independent spirits: people who want to blaze new trails, be masters their fate, and stake their claims. We like rugged individuals who are capable of rolling with the punches and figuring things out as they go, always ready with the self-confident knowledge that if there is a will …

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Earth, Wind & Fire

Problems at work often focus on elemental descriptions: I’m completely buried; I’m blown-away; this project is on fire; we’re totally under water. That may be a sign that we enjoy communing with nature, but probably not. When I start hearing these phrases, it’s a signal that people need to stop, even for a minute, and …

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Good Conversations – Part 4

Follow Through Up to this point you have communicated clearly, set expectations and confirmed commitment. Now you’re ready for the last part: following through. This is the step that most people forget until something goes wrong. Everyone needs help on following through. How often have you meant to do something in a certain way or …

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